One of the best things to come out of living in Asia in 2019 and 2020 was my daily nutrition "creations". Although I was open minded in the U.S. with many vegan and cultural foods, there's an odd trust that comes in Asian supermarkets and Asian convenience stores. You assume that everything is good for you, esp the staples. This instinct to stick to the basics has kept me healthy thus far.
Here are some healthy Asian staples that may become your travel go-tos, especially after researching their healthy benefits on your own.
* Rice - Brown, Red, and Mixed Rice are all healthy protein and fiber sources when eaten in moderation. 1/2 cup to 1 cup a day is fine if you're on a low carb diet.
* DIY Garlic, Onion, and Sea Salt Broth - This creation started out of boredom. I was tired of ramen packets for broth seasonings. Those packets aren't the healthiest.
The instinct to play around with these spices were right on. It's an easy and healthy broth, especially during flu seasons. Just add some kale powder for extra Vit K. Both spices can thin the blood. Vit K is great for blood clotting balance.
* Dried Prunes - Prunes in America were always associated with the elderly. I never really paid much attention to them until I got tired of fresh apples. Who would of thought that they hold greater nutritional benefits than a fresh apple! It's a no brainer fruit to have on hand for a low sugar diet. One prune holds about 5 grams of sugar. Three prunes is considered a serving size.
Enjoy them throughout your day.
* Canned Sardines in Olive Oil or Water - Sardines are another staple that isn't very popular in America, esp fresh sardines. Once again I came across a discovery of a staple that has greater nutritional benefits than other fishes! You can research more on your own.
The mercury is the lowest due to the sardine's diet of plankton.
Sardines are a complete protein with the 9 amino acids that the body can't make on its own.
Sardines are a great source of Omega 3s, vitamins, and minerals.
Sardines can be added to brown or mixed rice.
P.S. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you may remember a movie that may of turned you off of sardines before even trying them. Do you remember the movie "The Burbs"? That explains it all right, esp if you grew up in the burbs? lol
American Millennials are so "extra" for many many reasons. hehe
* Kimchi - Kimchi Ramen to Fresh Kimchi is really tasty.
I've noticed some Kpop idols packing canned kimchi in their suitcases for travel themed variety shows. Some have also mentioned it as their travel staple. Kimchi is any form is tasty though.
* Asian Convenience Store Finds - Mixed Nuts to tasty grape jellies are just some fun items to add to your travel bags.
These are just a few healthy Asian staples to have on hand for easy travel meal preps.
It's not the most ideal picnic though. lol
A side of Vit C juice as a palette cleanser and/or toothpaste can come in handy afterwards. ;)
By the time women turn 40, many have had some form of cosmetic surgery
(non-surgical and/or surgical). The 20s is a common age period for many men and/or women to get work done.
By the time many reach their late 30s, it's often time for some maintenance and/or touch ups. Cosmetic work doesn't last forever! I even found myself needing to replace a loose crown while in Asia this year! It's like you start falling apart by 39. haha Hyaluron Filler from the drugstore also comes in handy for any quick cosmetic work.
If you want to save yourself some money and time though, consider alternatives that can get you the results that you want. Surgery is just a pain in the ass! It may take a quick "DIY/Natural Remedy for (insert problem)" search.
You may also just run across it. This is what happened today!
I came across a face massager who shares ways to get any look that you desire. Two of the face massage techniques below take care of issues that seem to come up a lot in Asia, esp SK.
Nutrition and exercise can also take care of a lot of issues that deal with swelling, water retention, etc. I personally like people with full "collagen" cheeks though. To each his/her own.
Vitamin C is still needed for the immune system and healthy skin collagen production though.
No matter what you're trying to fix on the high or low, I'm sure her channel can help you out! :)
After learning French and Spanish in Junior High, HS, and College, I was pretty done with learning languages by the time I visited Japan and Korea in 2019. Most of what I knew about East Asia came from entertainment (childhood movies, Kpop artist's daily lives, and traveler videos).
Handy translation devices, English speaking youth, and English translations on many products and/or inside stores also made things easy.
Despite the many conveniences of foreign travel for English speakers, I did find it comforting to atleast learn a few basic words and phrases.
Writing out directions on a large piece of paper in the foreign language for taxi drivers can save you and the driver time, especially if they're elderly.
If you're a visual learner, you can easily learn the KR alphabet for example. I would recommend this the most. The [ symbol looks like a door for example. This is a D sound. Simply look for alphabet tutorials that teach in a similar visual manner. This is how I learned. Storefronts will not look so foreign afterwards. You may have to refresh your memory through if it has been awhile since you last traveled.
One of the best ways to get acquainted with any language and culture though is via the FOOD. That may be everyone's favorite excuse for visiting a foreign country.
Here is what I randomly found today that inspired this post. I got hungry once I reached Japchae. It's one of my favorite KR dishes. Sometimes you just have to go by what looks good in a country to know if you want to visit or not. You can then take a little journey to the supermarket for the frozen packaged version of the dish and/or actual ingredients. This is handy for those who just like having their favorite foods available.
This works for those who just want to travel locally in the U.S. as well. Foreign grocery stores and restaurants are abundant. You can even find some dishes at your local Costco.
After trying new products and foods on your travels, you'll get to a point where you'll want a complete detox from it all.
One of the best ways to do an elimination "diet" from product burnout is to simply go back to basics. This includes everything from skincare to inner body care.
Some of the major food ingredients to cut back on and/or eliminate if you have allergies are
Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy, and Sugar.
Natural fruit sugars are fine though. Try to stick to berry powders and/or up to 20 g of fruit sugar a day. Dried fruit can actually provide you with more nutrients for a quick sugar fix throughout your day.
Some of the major skincare labels to look out for are PH balanced, vegan, and/or organic.
Everything seeps into your bloodstream eventually.
Simple oils like light olive oil and/or grapeseed oil can be used for oil cleansing.
This can give your face a bit of a rest if you've tried too many new products.
A simple moisturizing vegan clay mask can assist as well.
Continuing your inner body care with basic supplements (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega 3s, probiotics, kale powder, etc) can provide you with daily maintenance.
At the end of the day, it's all about moderation though.
The Universe vibrates to 3s. A detox every 3 days or every 3 weeks can be beneficial.
I often come across random travel tips from experience and/or from other travelers.
I wanted to add more to a list here.
To Be Continued...
* Hardshell Carry-Ons and/or Rolling Leather Duffle Bags - You get used to seeing folding grocery carts pushed by little old ladies in Japan. It's just one of the many practical "I want one" moments you may have. The handy travel equivalent is a small hard shell carry-on or a rolling leather duffle bag. You can consider it as your gigantic shopping purse. It really comes in handy when shopping at multiple stores during an errand run. Some prefer to travel with two carry-on suitcases for this reason. You can also just buy a cheap one at your long term destination.
It's handy for carrying everything eco-friendly that you'll need for a day out.
A rolling hard shell carry-on is a great picnic basket and picnic table as well!
* Toiletry Refill Packs, Dry Pantry Foods vs. Canned, etc - The best way to keep your essential purchases lightweight is to think "flat". Shower foam refill packs to bagged beans, rice, etc are just some examples.
Convenience stores in East Asia are handy for simple things like towels, slippers, toiletries, snacks, fruits, drinks, frozen meals, prepared meals, etc. It can save you a trip to the supermarket, mall, and/or drugstore.
Malls in SE Asia are handy for groceries, entertainment, drugstores, clothing, household goods, etc
* Ziploc bags - Organizing items in ziploc bags allows you to keep track of what you have and need.
* Local English Food Delivery Services - Popular services like Amazon, Uber eats, etc are pretty well known in JP. Some other local East Asia sites/services aren't always known though.
Shuttle (shuttledelivery.co/kr/en) is a handy delivery service in KR for your bbq to mexican food cravings.
10Mag provided a great list of English shopping sites for Food, Clothing, Health Supplements, etc in KR (https://10mag.com/english-websites-for-online-shopping-in-korea/)
Amazon is partnering with the local KR site (http://global.11st.co.kr/html/en/main_en.html).
Amazon items will be available through the site.
It's something to keep in mind for 2021 onward KR travels.
Japan already has a local Amazon site (https://www.amazon.co.jp/)
Alishan's Organic & Vegan Online Store (https://store.alishan.jp/en/products) is one option for imported and local JP delivered vegan meats like OmniPork
* USB Portable Fans, UV blocking Sun Umbrellas, etc - Anything practical that you catch on a home shopping network in KR and/or at Don Quijote and Daiso in JP are worth considering!
* Worldwide Personal Assistants - (https://meetingreetme.com/travelers) - Nuff said
* Air Pollution Maps - You can follow real time air quality at aqicn.org. Air pollution is always worse on the ground level if you're walking near busy streets.
Reusable and fashionable dust/allergy masks can be handy to carry around all year.
* Request Best Cities for Living - Every resident in a country has their favorite cities. This question saves you a lot of time. A resident's favorite city will often have everything that a tourist will like. It's great when a resident gives you their Top 3 Best Cities though. This allows you to choose based on your personal interests.
* Request Best Grocery Stores - Everyone has their favorite grocery store. I personally would recommend Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Costco for those visiting and living in the U.S. Luckily all three deliver as well.
Google maps is handy if you want to check out photos of the grocery store's interior. This helps you to see what foods are offered in each location. Knowing the layout can save you time if you're a list maker. I love searching for gourmet grocery stores on google maps though. Nothing cures boredom more than trying some "fancy" new foods each week. :) Health food stores are also good for both food and supplements.
* Check Feng Shui Compass Directions - You don't have to know much about Feng Shui design to "feel" places out. You can simply get on Google Maps and look at the landscape.
I've found that North (Career Sector) and the NW (Helpful People and Travel) locations to fit me best. The North is associated with water energy as well. Having a lake, river, ocean, etc to the North is ideal if you want to enjoy more yin energies as you work. This can apply to the North side of accommodations as well.
Islands create their own "North" in the sense that they are not linked to mainlands. Hanging out in the Northern parts of an Island may be ideal for some.
* Coworking Spaces - Speaking of the North, Coworker.com has great spaces in many good locations. If you're still adding to your list of requirements, it's something to check out as well. You never know who you'll meet along your travels. Teaming up for a project and/or or having an alternative meeting spot is handy!
Sagittarius Rooster sharing her 2021 quirky travel adventures and tips.